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How To Brew The Best Taiwanese Tea Gong Fu Style

August 26, 2018

Here's a simple guide on how to brew the best tea using quality Taiwanese loose-leaf teas. There really is no right or wrong when it comes to brewing tea. We just want to share how both tea pros and tea lovers in general brew Oolong Tea here in Taiwan. We offer this in hope that it will enhance the quality of brewed tea for tea lovers around the world. 

Proportion of loose-leaf tea leaves to water

When brewing Gongfu style with teapots or gaiwans up to 200ml, we recommend a basic proportion of 1:15, leaves to water for unroasted Oolong Tea types. So for the 150g gaiwan in the photo below, we typically use about 10g of tea leaves. If there are very few stems, and the size of the rolled tea leaves is particularly small, start with less leaves — about 8g/150ml.

roasted oolongs

A general rule for roasted Oolongs is — the more roasted the leaves are, the less leaves needed. So start with around 8g/150ml, and then adjust accordingly. In the end, each batch of tea has its own character and its worth learning how to brew each batch of tea in order to make the best tea possible. 

brewing time

For brewing intervals, start with about 50 seconds, and increase 10 seconds per brew starting with the third brew. Most Taiwanese Oolongs can be brewed at least 5 times, and often more. 

gong fu brewing tip

Notice the second pitcher in the brewing arrangement above. This allows you to pour off the remainder of each brew into the second pitcher in order to taste each brew on its own. This is particularly useful when brewing for only one or two people.

proper brewing is key

The leaves we brewed in the photos above are Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong Tea. This type of tea really reveals its potential when brewed in the way we've demonstrated. This is true of all  Taiwanese loose-leaf Oolong Teas. From this basic guideline, adjust according to your own results. 

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